“We can say with conviction that anything they [our children] love can be sheltered by their love; anything they truly love can be saved. First in their own hearts, and then in the hearts of others. They only have to make their love inseparable from their belief. And both inseparable from hard work. We can tell them that on the day that we love ourselves, and believe we deserve our own love, we become as free as any earthbeings can ever be.” – Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944). [quote from pg 45 – 46, Anything We Love Can Be Saved].
I love her use of “earthbeings” in the above passage. What a great word!
The above passage is from Walker’s title essay in her collection of essays, poems, and open letters, Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer’s Activism (1997).
Alice Walker’s title essay – a very moving essay – is subtitled Resurrection of Zora Neale Hurston and Her Work. Hurston (January 7, 1891 to January 28, 1960) was a prominent member of the Harlem Renaissance. She specialized in African-American dialect, and was criticized harshly for this. Hurston’s short stories and novels were out of favor for decades. As late as 1970, few people knew of Hurston.
Alice Walker is a prominent poet, novelist, and activist. She is perhaps best known for her novel The Color Purple, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. As an activist, she has campaigned against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in West Africa, against the U.S. boycott of Cuba, and against the Iraq War (2003+).
[sources: Alice Walker’s book of essays; Wikipedia for general information on Hurston and Walker].